Letter L

The Definition of Long Colt

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Long Colt

Although a misused term (even within the firearms industry), Long Colt is a designation for an ammunition cartrige developed by Colt mainly used for revolvers. The actual designation is Colt instead of Long Colt. The term Long Colt was originally coined to avoid confusion between the .45 Colt and .45 ACP cartridges


19 Other Firearms Definitions You Need To Know


Handspanner

German for Hand-Cocking or Cocker/De-Cocker. A type of action on a break-open gun or rifle where, in place of a traditional top tang safety, a somewhat more robust tab is fitted. Normally such a gun is carried in the field loaded, but with the action not cocked, an exceedingly safe condition. Then, when ready to fire, the shooter, instead of pushing a safety tab forward, pushes this larger tab forward, cocking the mainspring, making the gun ready to fire. Then, if the shot is not taken, he may simply slide this tab rearwards again, de-cocking the gun and returning it to the still-loaded, but very safe position.

Firing Pin

A needle like metal part of a modern firearm that gives a vigorous strike to the primer initiating the firing of the cartridge.

Flintlock

A system of firearms ignition, in general use circa 1660 - 1825, whereby the pull of a trigger releases a sear from a notch in a spring-loaded hammer, which holding a properly knapped piece of flint, strikes a vertical slab of steel (called a frizzen) scraping off tiny molten particles of the steel, and pushing it forward causes an integral flashpan cover to open forward, exposing a bit of fine gunpowder below, which when contacted by the falling sparks, ignites and sends a flash of fire through the touchhole, into the loaded breech setting off the main charge and firing the gun. The Flintlock system was supplanted by the Percussion system around 1820.

Magnum

From the Latin for "more." A term indicating a relatively heavily loaded metallic cartridge or shotshell and a gun safely constructed to fire it. It generally indicates a round which cannot be interchanged with other loadings of the same caliber (for example, a .22 Magnum shell does not fit within a firearm designed to fire .22 Long Rifle ammunition).

SxS

Abbreviation for Side-By-Side.

Keyhole

The tendency of a bullet to tip in flight and hit a target sideways, leaving a distinctly oblong hole. This destabilization of the spinning bullet in flight is typically caused by a bullet weight inappropriate for the rate of twist of the rifled barrel, an out-of-balance bullet or its having nicked an impediment such as a blade of grass, in flight.

Grooves

The cut-away, concave portions of the rifling inside the barrel of a firearm discharging a single projectile.In other words, the lower portion of rifling.

Wheel-Lock

An early firearm mechanism in which a wheel with serrated edges is wound against the tension of a strong spring and spins against a piece of iron pyrite, sending a shower of sparks into the pan to ignite the charge.

Cold Range

A condition on a shooting range that is completely safe. Any firearms at the range are on the benches, unloaded with open actions and all people have stepped away from the firing line.

Slug

More correctly a "rifled slug" or "shotgun slug." An individual cylindrical projectile designed to be discharged from a shotgun. The term is often incorrectly used to mean a Bullet.

Toplever

A lever on a break-open gun mounted to the top of the receiver which, when pushed with the thumb (normally) to the right, operates (usually) a Scott Spindle, which in turn withdraws (usually) a Purdey Underbolt from the bites in the lumps of the barrels, allowing them to hinge downwards and the gun to open.

Clearing

Unloading a gun and double checking that it is unloaded or fixing a malfunction so that the gun is ready to fire again.

Overbore Ammunition

Small caliber bullets being used in large cases. E.g. .22 bullet in a .45 acp case.

Crane

A swing-out arm on a revolver, to which the cylinder is mounted when opened facilitates loading and cleaning.

Length Of Pull

The distance from the front trigger of a shotgun to the centre of the butt.

Gain Twist

A form of rifling where the helical angle (pitch) sharpens progressively down the bore in the interest of maximizing the bullets ultimate rotational speed by initiating it slowly.

Skeet

A shotgun shooting sport in which the competitors attempt to break aerial targets directed toward them or crossing in front of them from different angles and elevations. It is an Olympic shooting sport.

Slamfire

A premature, unintended discharge of a firearm that occurs as a round is being loaded into the chamber.

Lock Time

The interval of time between trigger release and the detonation of the primer. Generally, the faster the lock time the better, because this makes it easier to shoot accurately.